The chairman and chief executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd) has called for a mandatory drug test for youth corps members as they report for their one-year national service at the various orientation camps across the country.
Marwa made the call yesterday when he hosted the director-general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Fadah who, along with his management team paid a courtesy visit to the NDLEA headquarters in Abuja.
Marwa said the call was necessary as part of drug demand reduction efforts of the agency.
“There is the need for drug tests for our youth corps members as they report at the orientation camps.
“Once they know there’ll be drug tests at the camps, they will abstain from it. The whole essence is to ensure help gets to those who test positive early. This is part of our War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) initiative.
“Nigeria has a drug issue. We’re determined to ensure this is changed but we can’t do it alone, we need organisations like NYSC to reduce and control the demand for drugs. Nigeria has insufficient rehabilitation and counselling centres.
“We need counselling centres in the primary health care centres at the grassroots, where we don’t have enough manpower to cover and this is where the young men and women of NYSC come in.
“We can train them in their numbers to serve as counsellors at the grassroots level because a majority of drug users only need counselling.”
Earlier in his remarks, Fadah said the visit was to appreciate NDLEA for past support of the scheme and to ask for further collaboration as NYSC prepares to open the gates of orientation camps across the country.